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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Scenes from Velo City

"Hey, you know, if you lost both your arms and legs, in an accident or something?"
"I'd wipe your ass for you."
"Piss off."
"I'd charge you, though."

This exchange amidst the homeless sends me into group tonight with a bit of a smile on my face. I sort of like it after all. From ages 19 to 50+, money makers and money losers, school counselors, lawyers, students, retail workers, managers, we all get out of control now and then, and we got busted, and there's little to do but bullshit about it, so we do.

Coming down the steps to the bus platform, listening with dawning amusement to the litany over the loudspeaker, "Brown skin, black coat, black shoes..." and it's all I can do to restrain myself amidst the throng of eyes turning in my direction and hands going to guard their purses, though everything in me wants to yell, "... black hat, Cadillac! THE BOY'S a TIMEBOMB!" Instead I put on my brightest smile, say "That'll be me," to the team of transit cops standing right there, and pull out my bus transfer. One of them, a woman of southeast asian or Pacific Islander descent, apologizes twice. I let her know she's nothing to apologize for. It is, after all, her job.

Midriff shirt, one of those ubiquitous girl-about-town black sweater/longcoat things, pyramid-belt so chiquely crooked, and jeans artfully slashed (not worn through) at the knees, 'cause she's a rebel, grr. Nearly at the receiving end of my scathing internal monologue, she saves herself by waiting for the doors to nearly close at the stop near the school before merrily yelling, "Fuck you, bitch!" to a blonde girl outside. The expression on her face is heartwarming. Note to the fellow who haunts her for 15 stops or so: Asking the girl putting her celphone away, "Was that your boyfriend?" is not as slick of a conversation starter as you think it is.

And in the window as I'm getting up to go, someone's looking in my direction, just for a second. As I step off the train, I watch him split in the other direction. Electric guitar case on his back, haunted beatnik features. The ghost of Gary Johnson. For a kid who'd caught more than his fair share of hard knocks during life, being adopted, having lived homeless, and all kinds of other bad breaks, he was so full of love that I gave him my acoustic guitar when I left Pasadena, knowing he'd get more use out of it than I ever would. His IQ would kick your IQ's ass, but too much dissolution left him confused sometimes, seeing tracers, unable to discern your voice from the background noise. He disappeared along with the 20th century, walked away from job and a sometime fiancee, straight off the map, without a word of warning. No one knows where he is now, and probably, we never will.

Maybe it really wasn't him; maybe it was. Either way, I didn't call out to the kid. He left one stage of life, to move on to a different one, and I would not be the hungry ghost to call out his name, the arbiter of karma calling. Let him stay off the map, with everything else we left behind the millenium.

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You're an incredibly gifted writer. This was a pleasure to read this morning. Thanks!


I'm glad you liked it. ^_^ I would like to BE a good writer; what I am still, is merely a lazy dreamer, with occasional flashes of wit. But I am in the midst of trying to be more serious about writing, to work at it every day until it amounts to something publish-worthy, you know?

What inspired this? Or is this what really happened to you this morning? You can pour a cup of coffee and make it look cooler than Robert Deniro smoking a cigarette :p See you tonight.

These were the actual events of my Wednesday evening, monsieur, more or less in order.

Deniro < me writing about pouring coffee < Deniro with a mohawk.

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